Who We Are

We started as a loose group of concerned citizens and are moving into more formal arrangements as a 501(c)(3) focused on helping our communities thrive.

We start locally because that’s a quick route to what’s true and relevant, but we are always looking to develop models and methods we can share with others.


Stephen Bárczay Sloan is a teacher, author, consultant, and community leader. He is founder of the Humane Leadership Institute and author of Humane Leadership: Tools to Engage, Empower, and Improve Performance, as well as a former CEO, startup founder, and consultant to Global 1000 technology firms. He has served leaders in business and nonprofits in the fields of technology, medicine, retail, education, and the arts.

Julie O’Dwyer has worked in architecture and design as partner, project lead, and lead designer with numerous design firms throughout the United States. In 2005, she founded JulieO Design and in 2014 she opened the Ashland Design Studio. Julie is a founding member of the Splinter Group, serves on the board of directors of the Ashland Food Co-op, and is an active member of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, the Builder’s Association of Southern Oregon and Ashland Elks Lodge.


  • Southern Oregon University 
  • Humane Leadership Institute 
  • Ashland Independent Film Festival
  • Oregon Extension college semester program 
  • Ashland Food Coop
  • Ashland Food Bank


We believe this moment calls for a return to shared values of strength tempered by equity, care that generates autonomy, and a wise balancing of the paradoxes built into being individuals in community.